April 2, 2020

A New Normal?

Many bloggers are sharing the rigors of their imposed isolation in response to this latest health threat. I'm afraid I have nothing interesting to report on that front because our lives here on our homestead haven't changed because of the pandemic frenzy. Being self-reliant means we are relatively self-contained, anyway. We live with livestock, manure, and dirt, so we are already in the habit of washing our hands frequently. We never wear outdoor shoes in the house and we change to indoor clothes after working outside all day.

We keep a stocked pantry, not because we're afraid of the zombie apocalypse, but because it's common sense. Plus, growing our own food is necessarily based on annual growing and storage cycles. We know how to tighten our belts, if the need arises, and how to make do with less than we're accustomed to. I still make my weekly shopping trip, but even with random empty store shelves, we have enough to get by, or we have alternatives as back-up. We home church. The only thing we miss is videos from the library—but not enough to pick up a paid TV service!

No one would admire our financial status, but we are content. We have no debt except our mortgage. We have no investments, and we aren't trying to increase our wealth. So it doesn't matter what the stock market and Federal Reserve are doing. On the fortunate side, our fixed income isn't dependent on Dan going to work, although as a retired truck driver he'd still be working if he wasn't retired.

The bottom line is that we subscribe to a different social and economic paradigm than the world clings to, and as much as the world will let us, we try to live our lives in accordance with our beliefs. We've chosen greater self-dependence rather than seeking to meet all our needs through the consumer system. We've chosen interacting with nature instead of pursuing social trends. This has been our life for over a decade. Now, I hear folks talking about a new normal once this covid-19 scare is behind us, but I honestly don't know what that means.

I don't want to give the impression that I don't care how difficult this "lockdown" is for many. I do care, so I'm writing this blog post to find out how you're feeling about the future. Does a new normal mean personal changes? Social changes? Preparing for the future arrival of covid-20, covid-21, etc? I'd like to think this has been a wake-up call, and that a new normal means people taking back control of their lives:
  • Common sense stocking up, i.e. at least whatever supply of groceries and household items you wish you had now.
  • Growing even a small portion of their own food. (Can't put in a garden? Then how about a nursery cart and grow light?)
  • Learn how to strengthen the immune system.
  • Learn how to be content with fewer distractions and less stuff.
  • Realize that to the talking heads, bad news gets higher ratings than good news. Turn off the TV and engage in something constructive.
  • Realize that wealth isn't numbers on a computer screen.
For society, I hope we're paying close attention to who is now considered essential and non-essential. There are some important observations to be made here, such as, we've been overpaying the wrong people. I hope we're realizing that cities are not safe places when it comes to health security and resource availability. I hope we're realizing that there are different definitions of "truth." This has always been the case, but it's becoming more obvious to anyone paying attention. Lastly, I hope we're seeing for whom politics and power are more important than people.

Okay, that's just me. Not everyone will agree with me, so tell me what you're learning from this experience and what a new normal means to you, both personally and to society as a whole. The floor is yours.

A New Normal? © April 2020 by Leigh


Gorges Smythe said...

Personally, I think things will keep getting worse until the Lord comes. In the meanwhile, I haven't seen anything yet that I can't deal with, though I don't appreciate the relish with which government has embraced martial law lite.

Jackie and Joel Smith said...

Our expat life in Greece is quite similar to yours: we have really altered little in our day to day behaviors even though the government has imposed a lock down on the country. We have six destinations/reasons for leaving the house and we must notify the govt. of our destination. Usually our travels take us to the hardware store (now closed, as non essential) the pharmacy or the grocery. Both of which are okay to visit. Our toilet paper, fresh fruit and grocery items remain plentiful - Greeks seem more understanding of the no hording way of life. I have friends in America who are balking at any restrictions, one of whom wrote, "this isn't America". Sadly, when looking from the outside in, I would rather be here where the government is taking a strong stance and the political differences have been buried in order to fight the pandemic, than to be there. I am planting my tomato seeds today and the lettuce and basil have already sprouted! ;-) Loved this post!!

Michelle said...

Like you, this current crisis changes very little in our life, even though we aren't nearly as self-reliant as you and Dan. I'm an "on-sale stockpiler," as one of your previous post's commenters described herself, which had us well supplied to make do for quite awhile. And I was raised on the principles of "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without," so I don't feel deprived if I can't shop.

As for societal changes, I think the Bible is clear, like Gorges said; things are going to keep getting worse until the Lord comes. But "worse" isn't linear; it seesaws even as the overall trends and conditions worsen over time. But we have nothing to fear if we're hid in the Rock.

Ed said...

We too are among the ones for which not much has changed in our lives with the exception of having more free time because everything has been cancelled. Part of that is because with our recent remodel, we increased our pantry size by about a factor of 10 and pretty much had it filled up before this crisis hit.

MaryP said...

Check out Hoopla for movies. It is free, although you do have to have a library card. They also have an extensive collection of e-books and audio books, both for children and adults. I really enjoyed reading your post. I follow you all the time, but almost never comment.

I am retired so no need to go out to work or worry about finances, but my main concern is for my children and their families, especially my daughter who is a nurse practitioner. My Bible study group of mostly retired women has figured out how to meet online each week, and my church has online services, daily Bible times, encouragement messages from our pastor every day, and yesterday even brought in guest speakers (remotely) that we would not normally have access to. It is a time to be more intentional about reaching out to others, and stripping away all the distractions from our lives. I have discovered the convenience of grocery delivery since I am absolutely staying at home. My kids would be glad to shop for me, but they all have busy lives so this is something I can take off their plate. All of them are still working, although that may change at any time.

Boud said...

I'm another person whose life, aside from worry about my only local relative, my son, working in a supermarket, us relatively unchanged.

My social groups are either gone or experimenting with Zoom. I'm not a fan of being on camera, nor of putting in yet more screen time, so I send my best wishes instead!

I'm an artist working at home, my exhibition opportunities probably gone for now, but working as if anyway.

My small income outside of art sales and awards, is unchanged, a great advantage as you say. And I always cook what I eat, so have ingredients in house. I do have neighbors who will pick up food for me if I asked.

All in all, it's good to be a person who likes her own company, doesn't get depressed by being alone, do I'm fortunate that way.

I get enough news to be up to date on restrictions, easing of them, etc, but try not to dwell. And audiobooks are my friends! Take care.

Leigh said...

Gorges, I hope for the best, but I think we're that close as well. "Birth pangs."

Jackie and Joel, interesting comment. I'm glad you all are doing well! I think there's been a growing discrepancy for a long time between the country Americans think they live in and what's really going on. The way the media and politicians spin the truth is part of the problem, but also, people prefer not to see, the old ostrich effect.

Michelle, that's what I'm talking about -- common sense!That's an interesting comment about things worsening with a seesaw effect. As the Bible predicts, it will be more than just disease that will keep the world off kilter.

Ed, that remodel was timely! For all the grief it gave you, I know you're glad of that.

MaryP, thanks! We also found the WayBackMachine digital archive. Fun for old movies. Those with friends and family in the health professions certainly have cause for concern. I pray for the safety of them all. My daughter's church has gone completely online. Another delightful thing I've discovered is cellphone choirs on YouTube!

Leigh said...

Boud, I've been hearing about Zoom as a useful tool. I do agree with you that knowing how to be content with oneself is key for times like these. Interacting with others is a good thing, but social dependency makes things difficult. I've pretty much abandoned the "news" and just check my state's DHEC website every day. That tells me what I want to know without a side dressing of emotionalism.

Mama Pea said...

I've felt almost guilty because our lives have changed so little. We aren't suffering as I know so many are. However, we've worked very hard over a long span of years to get to this point. We understand what is required to live what most would call primitively before getting to the point where we are, and yet having that knowledge (and those tools) is something few people today have. Self-sufficiency seems to be an attribute lost in today's society. Blindly following the dictates and placing unwarranted faith in the hands of corrupt politicians and/or people drunk on power and expecting them to take care of you seems to be the norm today. Yes, I think our society is going to change, first for the worse and then for the better.

Excellent post, Leigh.

Retired Knitter said...

Well my life HAS changed. I am not a farmer. I don't live in a rural area. I am a 72 year old retired person living in a 55+ condo in a suburb between DC and Baltimore. So there are a lot of people who live here. My normal life exists outside the 4 walls of my home. Now that has all slipped away. I am now more isolated from my family. One of the things that I cherished before Covid-19 was regular contact with both my children and grand daughter and now that is gone. And I worry about them more now - it just goes with being a parent. I miss seeing my friends too.

Food wise not much has changed. I have always overstocked stuff and now it appears that the rest of the world is catching up with what I have done for YEARS! I always considered it a negative t that I didn't share because it was thought of as a bit odd. Ha! No more.

But what I will say is that I will never look at public surfaces the same way again. I really will be a better hand washer generally. After having the flu last year I have already changed my behavior of being cavalier about being around sick people. Are you sick? I'll see you when you are well (except for my grand daughter - I will see her no matter.).

Fiona said...

We find very little changed but I do have to say as much as I love canning and preserving our home grown food and having a stocked pantry, full shelves of canning and the frozen goods in our chest freezers, I never really thought they would be "needed". It is just something we do so we can be self reliant. Its normal for us. This country has a vast wealth of food and suddenly the gaping holes in the system have become apparent for people who do not garden or have options to. I pray it is a wake up call for everyone, it has made me value our farm more than ever. We are supplying eggs and hamburger to church members who cannot get out and waiting for 9 very pregnant ewes to lamb. Our gardens are way behind due to heavy rains but we are so very blessed.
God keep you all safe and we pray for the world.

Katy said...

I'm not as self sufficient as I wish but I'm not panic buying toilet paper either.
I had some dreams over the last couple of years that I didn't discuss with people but I took them seriously. I stocked up on enough things that I think I can get my family through a few months of bad times, and even though I've taken my gardening more seriously I've never been able to produce enough quantities to make a serious play at self sufficiency. So stocking canned goods from the store seemed the best way to go.
I live on a lake so I have ducklings and a couple chickens now, but honestly I'm hoping for the Lord's return and I'm not going to worry too much.

Leigh said...

Mama Pea, well, we all make our own lifestyle choices, so what we choose is on each of us. Unfortunately, technology and materialism are very attractive, and that's the path that most people choose. No amount of reason will change their minds. That's why I'm hoping a new normal will be a more moderate and common sense life lifestyle for everyone.

RT, there's a lot of wisdom in your comment. When I first started this blog, more than one person accused me of being a backward isolationist! I agree that the hardest part is not being able to see friends and family, especially the grandkids!

Fiona, the stocking up just comes with the lifestyle. We've used our home stores more than once, though, when Dan was out of work and we had no income. That reinforced the lessons we've put into practice. I love that you are able to help others! We should all be working toward the goal of having a surplus with which to help others.

Katy, I think we're all thinking that on one level or another. I have a mix of homegrown and store-bought, because the garden has been iffy for the past couple of years. But like you, I'm hoping what we're experiencing is a sign of the times and that the Lord's return will be soon.

CityCreekCountryRoad said...


I'm scheduled to retire in July and our mortgage will be paid off that month, so this has been a strange retirement "stress test."

The biggest surprise is how NOT stressful it has been. The things that I like to do: walking, reading, gardening, cleaning, cooking, and home projects are what I have been doing, just with more time. I love being around my husband and he's the only day to day companion I need. We have a gazillion stores near us; if one is out of supplies some other store or neighbor has it.

While I worry about the long term debt of the country our personal finances are fine.

The only negatives have been not seeing my mother (she is in a retirement community with no in person visitors) and concern for the sick and dying. There are a lot of police, firefighters, EMTS, and nurses in my immediate neighborhood which is about 4,000 to 5,000 people. I worry about them.

I would disagree with Leigh about cities being unsafe and not the place for health resources somewhat. Certainly they spread disease faster due to the concentration of people. However, we do have resources that you do not find in the middle of nowhere. For instance, we have a great Children's hospital and people from all over the world have had their children helped there. Likewise, I found out recently that a famous entertainer had been diagnosed successfully by a doctor in our city, after lots of misdiagnoses elsewhere.

My gut feeling is that mankind will cease to exist at sometime barring some spectacular scientific discovery to support our growing population. There's too many of us and we're not living as nature intended, which is hunter-gatherers, not farmers in the country, suburbanites, or city people.

People are not going to change long term... do you know how many people don't know about the Spanish flu?

City Creek Country Road

Goatldi said...

Me too. I agree with your observations and I am looking forward to getting back to my canning this year. Transition back to full time homesteading is a journey to be sure.

I am getting creative such as a potential flock share for family members and friends. Will try to keep it small but barter eggs for physical labor. I require help and would rather not pay cash for it.

What Mama Pea said. I felt embarrassed when folks around me in Shasta county were without power and I would be sailing along SOP.

And yes you are correct this way of life requires one stay home more . It is labor intensive but well worth it. I am weary of this phase of my life that has required more dependence on the outside food chain. I am happy that I have a well stocked pantry. That means when you are down a jar of tomatoes you replace it not wait for it all to be gone. I am grateful to have grown up in a family with farm grit even with a move to California after WW II .

New normal? I am concerned that once the dust has settled on an event of which we have had an increase of from wildfires to disease folks will forget and back slide to “normal.” Humans aren’t always the brightest crayons in the box.

Renee Nefe said...

Life here for me hasn't changed all that much...except for errand days. Not going anywhere except the grocery store...if they don't have it, we wait. Yesterday I had an online prayer meeting, which honestly I think went better than before as we had more participation...everyone was available because they couldn't go anywhere else! Today I have another online meeting...it is actually speaking to a theater class for my friend's school. I'll talk to them about costuming. I sure wish my friend had told me what I should talk to the kids about more specifically...but I'll wing it.
Daughter is doing all her classes online as her college campus is closed. She has one class where the teacher said they were supposed to participate in class, but even online he refuses to let the class have a word. :-/ Daughter's boyfriend is doing deliver again. Hopefully he is getting more tips now as he quit before because no one tipped (customers thought the service fee covered the delivery).
Husband(essential) is going into work each day because everyone else is working from home...at least that is supposed to be happening. On Monday (the day of the week that most don't even work because they work Tue-Fri) he had a lot of people come to his office and all ignoring the 6ft distancing. He started keeping his door locked. It is easy to tell that they are all desperate for interaction.
Numbers of new cases has finally started to drop. YAY! I hope this continues...although there are a lot of reports of folks ignoring the Stay at Home order. grr!
guess I should go get dressed for today seeing as I have to look presentable in front of my computer in 4 hours. LOL

Leigh said...

City Creek Country Road, congratulations on your upcoming retirement! It's lovely to hear how well you are already adapted for the changes.

One point in your comment I'd like to clarify. I did not say cities are not the place for health resources. I said health safety, for the reason you mention, i.e. it's easier to catch something when in close proximity. And I said resource availability, as in a city is dependent on outside providers for all food and supplies.

I agree that humans are not living as they are meant to live, although I have a completely different take on that.

Goatldi, considering all you went through in 2019, I think you're doing admirably well. I agree it gets harder as you get older. In an ideal world, people would come together to help one another as community for all needs. A lot of people are still willing to do that, but with an imposed isolation, that becomes much more difficult. I hope people learn something constructive from this.

Leigh said...

Renee, I'm glad to hear you are able to keep a semblance of your normal. My daughter told me that retailers are experiencing a surge of professional looking tops but not bottoms. For a computer meeting only the top half has to look presentable!

I'm glad to hear your new cases are finally starting to drop. Our state is still on a slow rise, although the county has remained at 14 for several days now. I'm sure all the extroverts out there are starved for real live interaction.

wyomingheart said...

Hello Leigh! Thanks for this post today, and we have also felt guilty because we really have not been impacted by this virus. We do not watch the news. We do check up on the weather daily, but that is it. We check up on our blogs daily, and we do Zoom with family a couple of times a week. We are almost always prepared to be self reliant, and that has been needed throughout the years, having gone through two devastating hurricanes in Florida, where we lost sections of our homes. There is a peace in knowing that we can take care of ourselves, and working our butts off to get to that point. I, like a lot of your readers believe that we are in end times, and rest in the acceptance of that. We are working to get the new raised beds set up next to the garden, very thankful for the health we have to work this hard. We pray for those who are struggling, and those who are affected by this virus. God Bless Us All.

Peteforester said...

I've long since relegated the talking heads to the background noise file in my head. Truth is, we've been lied to by so many for so long, no one believes anything that's being said. For instance; The MSM says illegal aliens are nothing but a benefit; DIVERSITY IS OUR STRENGTH! ...Illegal aliens have pretty much taken over where I live... We build something, and they come in and make it look like Mexico. We're expected to just stand aside and let them bull through, and are also expected to "pick up a little Spanish..." So much for that... Indeed, I believe what's right before my eyes these days, and I don't like what I'm seeing on many levels..

As I stocked up, started gardening, freeze-drying food, and the like, my friends and coworkers laughed at me or blew me off. They're not laughing anymore, and the ones who blew me off are saying "You were right."

We've more or less "locked the gate" until this thing burns itself out.

God bless all you folks.

Lady Locust said...

We are considered "essential" so are still working, but at home not much has changed. Like you, we have "enough." I just wish folks would open their eyes just a little: not discrediting the virus, but to put it in perspective, look up how many people in the US get the flu and die from the flu each year - with no crisis or pandemic. Even the words they are using are to invoke fear. Turn off the TVs folks. This isn't a sci-fi flick. Wash up, practice common sense and move on. Sorry if this sounds harsh.

J.L. Murphey said...

Leigh, Even though I'm one of the bloggers you mention. It's business as usual here too...except we don't have a mortgage. Our bills are just utilities. It's probably a bit tighter here though because of the car payments and a failed garden last year. Everyone keeps asking how we are getting along so I blog about it. My blogs are what we are doing and how we prepared for any SHTF scenario, but really it's just good homesteading common sense. And, folks thought we were nuts for doing this at our age.

Even though we have so many cases of flu and the virus going on, we're safe and secure. I swear though that some people don't have sebse to come out of the rain, but will gladly complain about it.

Leigh said...

Wyomingheart, there are so many reasons to be prepared, and I think greater self-reliance is the best way. You are so right about the sense of peace one has. Also the hard work! And if there are mistakes, they are my own. I can't say I've felt guilty about it, because we all face crises and we all make choices. I keep saying I hope folks will realize they need to take more responsibility for themselves, and I sincerely mean it.

Peteforester, "Truth is, we've been lied to by so many for so long, no one believes anything that's being said." That's it exactly. Every year the media tries to whip us up into a frenzy over the flu, or the weather, or polar bears, and they've simply cried wolf too many times. Those who looked at the current hoopla skeptically have been criticized for not taking it seriously, and then made to feel guilty because we're not panicking over it. You've taken the common sense approach and hopefully, your co-workers will take a cue from you.

Lady Locust, that's the thing. We've faced numerous pandemics in the past, but why the hysteria over this one? I remember when Obama brought Ebola victims to the US. Until that point we'd didn't have it, and then we did. Yet nobody blinked an eye. "Turn off the TV" is some of the best advice out there.

Jo, very true! I don't know if anybody is ever totally "prepared." We're all just doing the best we can. Hopefully, folks are gleaning good advice from your blog and beginning to put it to good use.

Goatldi said...

Me also. The pie is large there is enough if handled right. Smaller like minded communities and the barter system. Anyway money is more full of germs than a snakes mouth.

Stephanie said...

This new situation is weird for me & my husband. Back in October we sold our house in FL and moved to our dream homestead in TN. We have been building our new home since & we are now weeks away from moving into our now home (it will be unfinished but livable) and getting back to a semi normal life until this virus. We don't know if we will be able to go out to get he final components to move into the house since we are no under a stay at home order or if we will be able to find employment when we need to go to work. We have food and are ready to start a garden but I'd love to have an actual house with running water & electric.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Leigh, I would say overall our life has changed and it has not. It has changed in the fact that first time in...well, forever, all five of us are living under the same roof in close proximity to each other. It has been nice. We have the unexpected side benefit of spending a lot of family time together.

The difference has been none of us go anywhere now. Meetings, jobs, even just going out to go out has all gone by the wayside.

I am somewhat nervous for our jobs of course, given the circumstances, but not a lot will solve that by worrying. It will happen or it would not.

Florida Farm Girl said...

For a good long while, we Americans have had a difficult time separating needs from wants. I'm hoping a lot of folks will start to relearn that lesson. While I learned how to be alone and amuse myself at an early age, a lot of people didn't and that has to make it harder for them. I hope everyone is able to keep their perspective and get through this time as well as possible.

Leigh said...

Goatldi, we've seen how some folks handle the toilet paper pie!

Stephanie, what rotten timing. I wish I knew how to encourage you. I sincerely hope this passes quickly so you can get on with your lives.

TB, sounds like your lives have changed for the better, even temporarily. Hopefully, your jobs will be secure throughout this ordeal and afterward.

FFG, that's a problem wherever there is prosperity. Hopefully, you're right about folks figuring it out!

Woolly Bits said...

if it wasn't so serious for so many people. some things would be downright hilarious! the surge for loo paper seems to be over - or rather has been replaced by need for flour and yeast. I can only imagine how some pantries must look like now - I envisage gigantic flour bags and huge packs of yeast - often for people, who rarely bake apparently! what will happen to that once people realize they won't starve is anyone's guess...
other than that we are more or less like you: we don't go out anyway, so we don't miss anything there. the only real change is that DS's college is closed, so he's home 24/7. other than that I wouldn't even notice the pandemic if I didn't hear about it or saw some empty shelves and people with masks on the way to the supermarket. I do understand the fear people have, but I don't understand the boredom - there is so much people could do if they just started something instead of bemoaning what they can't have right now! anyway, keep safe!

Leigh said...

Bettina, I'm glad to hear you all are well and safe. I agree
about boredom; there's no excuse. Today I made my weekly shopping trip and noticed there was now toilet paper available at two of the three stores I stopped at. The one had a limit. I was glad I didn't need any. Flour and most canned vegetables were still scarce, but everything else was well stocked.

One thing I hope will happen after this is behind us, is civilized discussion about the way the whole thing was handled. By both the authorities and individuals and without the political finger pointing (still going on here!). What could we have done better? How can we be prepared in the future, because there will be another pandemic one of these days. I suspect it will be difficult to come to a consensus, however. People who favor big government will have different opinions from those who favor individual rights.

Mike Yukon said...

A New Normal? I don’t think we will ever see the old normal again. COVID-19 is simply every Politicians' wet dream, a mega-disaster with “Trillions of Dollars to skim off that will end up in the friends/donors Charities and Family Foundations with no way to be Held Accountable for misuse”!

You can safely bet that the government will be ordering and stocking millions of Ventilators, face masks, hospital beds, etc after this, and none of the fat juicy contracts will be awarded to small businesses but only to friends of the politicians.

Also, I see dozens of mega Hospital Ships to treat and house asymptomatic and the infected “Off Shore” until they are safe to return to society. These ships (a network) could be placed on the East Coast, West Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and the Great Lakes close enough to major population areas, 15-20 miles offshore, that easily can be reached by tenders. Here’s your free healthcare! How to staff these ships? Easy, if new Doctors, Nurses, and Lab Rats want their education ‘for free’ then the spend 5 years on the boat! (like the Navy does, 6 months home and six months on the boat) and the loans will be forgiven.

You better get prepared to be able to not leave your home for months at a time! There will be much faster total border “Lock Downs” and curfews enforced with violence if need be. Along with “your papers please” (Passports) needed to leave or return to your state and home area.

Now is the time the old-time mega-retailers (Sears, Penny’s, etc) have been waiting for. They can now walk away from all the dying old stores that have no chance for survival and blame the economic crash on the government. The government will write them checks so the old investors can walk away clean and rich. Then the government will make condos out of all those old buildings and shopping centers for the subsidized housing!

Now is also the time retailers can experiment with full automation to permanently cut human staff and let robots do the work, even in supermarkets. Internet your order in and Uber delivers it. This method will eliminate much of the variety we choose from but they don’t care, its all about profit without using people to earn it.

REMEMBER, “Banks own everything” there are only a very small handful of billionaires who control “every need” in our lives (fuel to food) and they are setting the stage to pull the rug out from under us!

Get Yourself Prepared for the worst because it is coming!

Rain said...

Hi Leigh :) Great thought-provoking post.

If it weren't for buying the house and having to move in a month, I'd be in the majority of the people who commented whose lives haven't really been affected at all by this pandemic. In all honesty, though I'm sure we'll be okay, I won't sleep easy until me, Alex, and the pets are in our new home. Alex doesn't drive so I have to drive the U-haul on my own to New Brunswick. I have to quarantine there for 14 days then I can come back in our car and pick him up and the pets. I can't help worry that something may stop me from doing that and we'll all be apart...I have to keep telling myself this isn't the "Iron Curtain" type of dystopia...things will be fine.

I'm on a disability pension, Alex works from home and his work hasn't been affected. We are very fortunate that our livelihood will not be affected by this. I do have empathy for those who are losing their jobs though. I remember the 1998 Ice Storm in Montreal. Everything shut down and I was a waitress at the time. My income relied on cash tips and that dried up, businesses were price-gouging. It was the most horrible experience of my life. The water in Montreal was contaminated and I couldn't even afford to buy any...it was frightening for a young lady on her own with 2 pugs! But I learned from that. Just a year later, I moved up North and haven't looked back.

We rarely leave the house, I have a stocked pantry - though it's dwindling now because I just don't want to have to move food when the time comes. I always buy in bulk and keep the pantry full of everything we need. I am an isolationalist like you and Dan (love that word, thanks!), and so is Alex, so we don't enjoy being social anyway.

How flippant does this complaint sound? "I can't make cheese for a while because there is a daily 4 liter limit on buying milk and I'm too lazy to go back to the store the next day"...oh how "put out" I am lol...I don't really feel too guilty about that though.
I have been annoyed that I can't stock up as I normally would. I usually do monthly grocery shopping and now it's frowned upon to buy supplies that will last a month so I have to go weekly - which kind of defeats the purpose of staying home doesn't it??? They want you to stay home, but they limit the amount of food you can buy...I know that the stores don't want the hoarders to buy all of the TP, but am I a monster because I want to stock my pantry for a month like I've been doing for years? I guess THAT'S the new normal for me.

OMG the talking heads...I stopped all of that after 9/11. I was the administrator of a day trading firm for 9 years, and when 9/11 happened, all of the tv's in the office were fixed on CNN for days, weeks...I think that contributed to my nervous breakdown in 2003 to be honest. I learned to stay away from the media. It can become tragically addictive.

We will all get through this. Even for people who are self-sufficient, I'm sure there is a little bit of underlying fear, the unknown, that lurks. We all learn from hard times and (hopefully) change our ways! I'm sure that most city folks will go back to their old lives once this all blows over though, and never really learn from it.

Long comment!!! :)

Leigh said...

Mike, there is so much in place now for all the things that folks have speculated will happen, to happen. Just as worrisome, is how quickly people submit to it out of fear. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

Rain, I like a long comment! Your current situation is frustrating, indeed. At least you'll be able to move. Hopefully, we're all learning some lessons in preparedness.

Chris said...

Great thoughts here Leigh. If more people were truly content with enough, we wouldn't be in the predicament where environmental resources were so low, or mismanaged and wasted. What this current crisis has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that the biological realm, trumps everything. In our food, environment and our bodies. It gets final say over what lives and dies - regardless of what knowledge mankind can gather because of it.

The wise will respect the biological realm, instead of attempting to extinguish or mutate it. Because it never works out the way we think it does. The biological realm, never fails to pay back with compounded interest. So it's wise to navigate the biological realm with respect.

Nancy In Boise said...

I've been along the same path as you are in a different way as we're in an urban setting for over 10 or 15 years. I have always wanted to be more self-sufficient and my husband got drag along fairly willingly. we've been growing some of our own foods for about 20-25 years, with fruit trees vegetables Etc. I started canning about 7 or 8 years ago and we have a food dehydrator and freezer. when all of this sort of hit I didn't really panicked too much although I am in a higher risk group. my immune system is pretty healthy actually. the first thing I did right off the bat was buying some extra seeds as those started flying off the shelf. the local chicken hatchery has been selling out the last several weeks so I'm not sure if I'll be able to get some new chicks this year but time will tell. I was going to wait another month but may get them sooner I don't like having chicks in the house any longer than absolutely necessary, as the garage is too cold if we even with a heat lamp. I started extra cool weather crops this year and have plenty of seeds. Both my husband and I are considered as necessary businesses right now. I work in a large health system with multiple hospitals but I'm going to be set up to work from home hopefully in the next week. I was supposed to be set up a week or two ago but are high-speed internet wasn't fast enough so we had to change providers. We don't go out much, no meals out except for rare pickups to go, parks are closed, libraries are closed which really stinks. we have plenty to watch on TV and the weather is warming up so we're starting to do more yard work. lots to watch in the evening and I'm trying to limit the news to about once a day or less and watch more comedies! I was home three days last week because of a low workload but I am getting paid which I'm grateful for. Our son-in-law was laid off his job and since he worked in a small Cafe I seriously doubt that it will ever reopen. the owner is close to retirement age anyway. we just started going out much except for a few groceries here in there. We had planned a road trip just for the day after the mountains but have cancel that since the small towns don't want any outside visitors due to small Medical facilities. while they rely on tourism they don't want their local population deeply infected. All our schools are closed, most churches are doing remote services, several places doing covid-19. My dentist office is closed except for emergency services but I was really glad I got my teeth cleaned right before this really hit. doing lots of small projects at home and I'm planning with summer garden, will do more canning again and freezing and Life Will Go On...

Leigh said...

Chris, it seems humans just can't leave well enough alone, and there is no end to what some want to change or manipulate to their advantage. Like any ecosystem, the biosphere has parameters which if pushed to far, will kill it. True science has only scratched the surface of understanding, yet the push to change it seems never-ending. I honestly think that if not abated, they will eventually push it too far the wrong way.

Nancy, seems like many of us who started out in the self-reliant direction simply for the love of doing things have found how terribly important such a lifestyle can be. I'm glad you all are doing well under the circumstances. Less "news" and more comedies is a good idea! Laughter helps the immune system!

Pricket said...

Your site is 4th down on my favorite list and following for years but comment rarely. Things have not changed at all except planting much more and have turned one garden over to a young family to teach how to grow their food and teaching two other families gardening skills at their homes. I personally think the greatest storm coming is not financial or pandemic but loss of food availability and collapse on a massive world wide level. I think we will get a preview of that this coming late fall 2020. My mother was the eldest of 9 kids and her mom died when mom was 13 in the very worst of the depression. The great drought occurred at the same time and destroyed the land and food. Her aunts and uncles all lost their farms to sales on the courthouse steps for failure to pay property taxes. To that end I have put aside hard currency; not fiat paper currency; to be able to pay my property taxes and if need be friends taxes. People may think me crazy and stupid but what I see coming makes this pandemic no more then a light rain sprinkle on a raging prairie fire. God the Father by His Spirit speaks to His children to prepare them for what comes, listen to the Spirit.

Leigh said...

Pricket, I agree with you. I think what we're experiencing now is a warning shot. A great battle is coming for which there will be no true winner. Hopefully, those who have ears to hear are heeding and taking action.

Phantomrijder said...

Leigh, I hope any New Normal is characterised by changes based on the lessons learnt from the calamities of the coronavirus, of our abuse of the planet seen so regularly in climate change and of the deterioration in society’s moral and ethical values. Which sounds all very high-minded.

The New Normal would be better than the Old Normal when we are more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports; that we produce more locally, that we are more self-reliant, that wealth is more distributed. The New Normal will be better when we hold on to the improvements in air quality because we travel far far less and stay at home, enjoying home far more and more. The New Normal will be better when we can rely on trust, when the feeling of shame self-corrects bad behaviour.

I hope any New Normal has more humanity than we experience today; that we evolve, have and choose leaders and figureheads that are honest, fair, transparent – be they parents raising children to be good citizens, the local mayor, the law and order organisations, managements in businesses, politicians and all who help govern in our society.

Leigh said...

Phantomrijder, hello and welcome! I think we need high-minded ideals. Without them, we would have nothing to work toward. Many fear we will fall into another dark ages, but like you, I hope we will take the lessons learned to heart and correct past mistakes. We'll see.

Powell River Books said...

You have chosen a lifestyle well suited to these difficult times. I know my mother's family who farmed made it through war rationing and the depression with more ease than most families. I admire your ability to take care of so many animals and crops. - Margy

Grace said...

We didn't have to do much to prepare for the Shelter In Place order. We did a little shopping, mostly to make sure we have enough pet food.

We are happily staying home together. Brenda is working from home.

I hope you are well and happy. It's been years since I was on Blogger. It's lovely to see you still here and see all that has gone on while I've been away, Leigh.

Leigh said...

Margy, historically, it seems that folks in more rural settings who garden and keep a few animals have always fared better in hard times. We didn't necessarily choose the lifestyle in preparation for difficult times, we chose it because it seems a more logical way to live. Still, it's come in handy!

Grace! How nice to see you on blogger again! Gosh, it's been several years, hasn't it? Does this mean your going to start blogging again?